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7 Nights North to South Cruise

Kerala River Cruise

Kochi to Alleppey

The river cruise takes you through wide lakes, flowing rivers, narrow canals and tranquil lakes with many villages on its banks that are only connected by water. Life is all on these waterways with people commuting in wooden dugout canoes where school children, traders and fidhermen all mingle together to make the voyage through the bustling waters both colourful and very exciting.

Visit temples, churches, market places, traditional dance and martial art schools and ayurvedic medicine centres. Meet the elephants of Kerala and take a canoe ride through the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Experience how coir making is done and how, traditional wooden boats are built by stitching the planks of wood together with coir rope. A really delightful tropical river cruise on warm waters with a lot of sun bathing and lazing as you sail towering twenty feet above the paddy fields in canals held together by dykes or, along the Arabian Sea where the setting sun splashes the endless waters with a bright orange glow.

Fare Starting 2,380$ per cabin

7 NIGHTS NORTH TO SOUTH CRUISE

Detail Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation at Marad, Kochi

This morning drive to the nearby village, to watch Kalarippayattu-the traditional martial art of Kerala. Drive to the nearby village Marad and embark on our boat by noon. The team on-board welcomes you in the boat and help’s you with smooth check-in. Gather at the lounge for a safety briefing about the boat and about the cruise. We set sail, gently cruising by the islands interspersed along rivers, lake, coastal estuaries and lagoons, leaving the skyscraper lined horizon of the city of Cochin behind. Enjoy a traditional Kerala lunch and relax on-board.

Our expert will talk about Cochin, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, and its geographical, cultural and social significance.

By evening we arrive in the ancient village, Vaikom. By tuk-tuk or by foot we proceed to the cultural centre in the locality to watch the traditional dance performance of Kerala – Kathakali, the traditional dramatic and mimetic dance form, which plays stories from epics. It is a unique blend of dance, music, action, literature and make-up.

We take a tour around the temple to get to know about its history and architecture. The architecture of temples in Kerala is based on ancient science of construction and geographical features of the land. As per the traditional architecture, each element of temple represents an element of human body and, a temple is not only the space for spiritual enlightenment but also the venue for harmonious social networking. Return to boat. After dinner, we retire for the night.

Meal Plan: (L, D)

Day 2: Vaikom – Chenganda – Kumarakom

After breakfast on the boat, cruise to Chenganda village. The people of this rustic village are having a laid-back and peaceful life. Spend time with the coir weavers, the shell harvesters and farmers, engaging in conversation about the riparian life and watching various indigenous techniques of fishing. Return to the boat for lunch.

Cruise through Thanneermukkom barrage. The barrage at Thanneermukkom built across Vembanad, the largest lake of Kerala, divides the lake into two, one half with perennial salty water and the other with fresh water enriched by 5 rivers flowing from the hills. We talk about indigenous practices of paddy cultivation in Kuttanad-the regions where paddy fields are below sea level.

Cruise through the expanses of lake Vembanad experiencing its wetland ecosystem.

We visit a farm house.This house is located on an island which was made by the men of the house, by reclaiming land from the Backwaters. A walk in the farm will be educative. The hostess will demonstrate the preparation of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine. You may also try your hand at cooking and listen to the story of her family, of three generations laborious men of the soil, and equally strong women who supported their pioneering spirit. We will have lunch at this house. Return to the boat and relax on the boat.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 3: Kumarakom- Kainakari

Having an early and light breakfast, we set out by country boat to watch the migratory and endemic birds of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which is a cluster of lagoons of lake Vembanad, with the backdrop of mangroves, paddy fields and coconut groves.

Waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck are some of the endemic species seen here. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.

Return to the boat, refresh, and while cruising, enjoy a more elaborate breakfast on-board.

Cruise to Kainakari. We visit Chavara Bhavan, the ancestral home of the Catholic Saint Kuriakose Chavara which is now preserved as a museum. Saint Chavara, the first canonized Catholic male saint of Indian origin, was the co-founder of the first congregation for men, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate-C.M.I., and Congregation of the Mother of Carmel-C.M.C.

Get closer to the laid-back, yet, harmonious, life along the way, gently gliding along narrow canal by country boat, interacting with the villagers. Return to our boat and cruise till dusk to Chithira kayal- and halt overnight.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 4: Kainakari – Kavalam – Mankompu

After breakfast cruise through the deeper interiors of Kuttanad, passing by the oldest paddy cultivating fields, which were reclaimed from the lake during the early years of last century. The regions along the way – Rani Marthandom kayal and R-block – are almost 6ft below sea level.

Arrive in Kavalam where the river Pampa reverses its course and drain into Lake Vembanad. You may take the ferry to explore the region, walk along the dykes surrounding the expanses of paddy fields and interact with the farmers and women’s collective. After having lunch on-board, cruise to Mankompu village. Cultural performance by the women of the village.

Return to the boat for dinner.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 5: Mankompu – Nedumudi – Champakkulam – Changankari (Excursion to Aranmula)

After breakfast, cruise to Nedumudi. On arrival at Nedumudi we drive to the prosperous and picturesque midland. Arrive in Aranmula village which is home to a family of craftsmen who are skilled at making mirror out of a special combination of metals. The secret of the trade has been passed down through generations. These mirrors have the distinctive feature of 100% reflection unlike the common mirror. Local people consider it as auspicious to keep it at home to attract prosperity and luck.

You explore the village by foot/tuk-tuk. Visit the ancient temple of Krishna. Each temple has its own architecture, legends, rituals and festivals. We interact with an artisan and watch the different stages of this ancient work.

Palliyodam, the divine vessel, the mural art gallery, the school of traditional architecture are the other highlights of this old village which preserves its heritage.

Lunch will be at a local house of beautiful architecture, surrounded by a garden of various hostplants of butterflies, nutmeg trees, Jack fruit, Cinnamon, Wild fig , located on the bank of Pampa, the holy river. We get to know about the ritualistic annual regatta in Aranmula. Visit a Rubber plantation to know about rubber tapping and processing. Gandhiji’s vision on developing a nation through developing self-reliant villages is best explained when we take a walk through these prospering country sides

Visit a Khadi weaving centre. Here you may also try your hand on traditional weaving.

Return to Nedumudi to board the boat and continue the cruise to Champakulam village. Kerala’s old spice trade used to pass through this town en route to Cochin and other ports on the west coast. Settled more than 1000 years ago by Syrian Christian traders, who later had converted to Roman Catholicism under the Portuguese, the people chose to keep their syncretic cultural heritage.

This can be seen in the monumental St Mary’s Church on the riverside. Built in 1550, the foundations are said to be as old as 5th century AD. Architecturally, it is a mélange of several European styles, from the Levantine altar and structure to the Dutch arches that tower overhead.

We get the chance to visit old church, school, the local artisans (open on weekdays) who skilfully and passionately craft biblical heroes. You get to see the narrow and long Snake boat (Chundan Vallom) of the villagers, gracefully docked on the shore. These types of boats, which are being used for races today in modern days, were once maritime war boats and their structure and design reflect the prowess of ancient Kerala architecture and are one of the icons of Kerala culture. Over one hundred oarsmen power these boats in races where they sail at speed generated to the beats of drums at the aft.

Cruise to Changankary village till dusk, passing through the serene canals. You may relax on board or take a walk. After dinner retire for the night.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 6: Changankari – Thottappalli

After having early breakfast, take a leisurely walk in the village. Cruise to Kanjippadom. We meet the carpenters at the boat building yard and talk about the traditional method of building wooden boats (Kettuvallom), joining wooden planks using coir, cotton and natural resin. Cruise to Karumadi. Take walk to the small shrine where an old statue of Buddha is preserved. We discuss about history of religions in Kerala and caste system prevailed in the region. We take a leisurely walk to the beach. Return to boat.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 7: Thottappalli – Pallathuruthi (Excursion to Mannarassala & Mannar)

Today we will have early breakfast and we drive through the quaint and scenic villages to Mannarassala, an ancient sacred grove where serpents are being worshipped. This is the only temple in Kerala having female priests. You can take walk inside and see the rituals going on. We drive to Mannar, which is famous for bell metal and brassware crafts. We interact with the artisans and watch the indigenous method of casting of traditional lamps, utensils and ornate locks. Return, refresh and have lunch and relax on-board.

Honouring your cruise with us, we plant a coconut sapling for the village. Coconut tree is considered as the ‘Kalpavriksha ‘or Divine tree of Kerala. All parts of coconut tree are useful in one way or the other: the water inside is a healthy drink; the fresh kernel and the oil extract from dried kernel are inevitable components of every cuisine; fibre from the coconut husk is used to make coir, mats and geotextile; the palm fronds are used for thatching roof; the wood suitable for making furniture and all the dried parts of coconut make good firewood. Last but not the least, the toddy – the local alcoholic beverage that boost for the laborers after toiling in the fields.

Arrive in Pallathuruthi by evening. Tonight, we celebrate our sojourn over farewell dinner on board RV Vaikundam.

Meal Plan: (B, L, D)

Day 8: Pallathuruthy – Punnamada – Alleppey and Disembark

This lake is the venue of the annual spectacular race of Snake boats of different villages of Alleppey and its neighbouring places on 2nd Saturday of the month of August. We disembark by 9.30 AM. After taking a walk through the market place of Alleppey, depart for onward journey.

Meal Plan: (B)

RV Vaikundam Cruise

Cabin & Prices

September 2019 TO May 2020

Luxury Cabin

Uncover the secrets of magical Kerala, an adventures land with immense ancient and must-watch attractions.

  • 140sqft
  • 1 Cabins
  • Bathroom
  • Windows on 3 Sides
2,970$ for 7 Nights

Deluxe Cabin

Uncover the secrets of magical Kerala, an adventures land with immense ancient and must-watch attractions.

  • 130sqft
  • 8 Cabins
  • Bathroom
  • Windows on 1 Side
2,380$ for 7 Nights

RV Vaikundam Cruise

Cabin & Prices

September 2020 TO May 2021

Luxury Cabin

3,550$ for 7 Nights

Deluxe Cabin

2,870$ for 7 Nights

RV SAUVER NIGAM Cruise

Cabin & Price

Superior Cabin

Uncover the secrets of magical Kerala, an adventures land with immense ancient and must-watch attractions.

  • 180sqft
  • 2 Cabins
  • Bathroom
  • Windows on 3 Sides
340$ / Cabin / Night

RV Sauver Nigam

Package Price For 7 Nights

September 2019 TO May 2020

Exclusive 2 Cabin

4,090$ for 7 Nights

Exclusive 1 Cabin

3,840$ for 7 Nights

Sharing Basis

2,380$ for 7 Nights

Inclusion

  • Entrances: Entrance Fees
  • Naturalist/Destination Manager: English speaking
  • Assisted Transfers: At Kochi
  • Land Transport: By Air-conditioned Vehicles and Local Tuk-tuk
  • Meals: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
  • Internet: Available with Wifi Dongle

Exclusion

  • Airfares: International or Domestic Airfares
  • Taxes: 5% Government Tax. Or any other tax levied in the future.
  • Evacuation Charges: For medical emergencies or any other reasons
  • Personal Expense: Laundry, calls, extra liquor, camera fee, medical, spa etc
  • Insurance: Any travel insurance or personal insurance.
  • Force Majeure
  • Assisted Transfers: At Alleppy

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Other Information

  • All bookings are subject to availability and terms and condition.
  • Cruise Check-In 1400 hours, Check-out time 1200 NOON
  • .As the first operation on this itinerary will be undertaken in end Sep 2019. The itinerary might need to be amended with minor modification post the first launch, exploratory cruise departure.

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